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American University in Cairo American University in Cairo

AUC Knowledge Fountain

AUC Knowledge Fountain

Theses and Dissertations

2-1-2019

The Usage of Songs in Arabic as a Foreign Language Classes:

The Usage of Songs in Arabic as a Foreign Language Classes:

Teachers' Perceptions and Practices

Teachers' Perceptions and Practices

Yahia Moshtahari

Follow this and additional works at: https://fount.aucegypt.edu/etds

Recommended Citation Recommended Citation

APA Citation

Moshtahari, Y. (2019).The Usage of Songs in Arabic as a Foreign Language Classes: Teachers'

Perceptions and Practices [Master’s thesis, the American University in Cairo]. AUC Knowledge Fountain. https://fount.aucegypt.edu/etds/739

MLA Citation

Moshtahari, Yahia. The Usage of Songs in Arabic as a Foreign Language Classes: Teachers' Perceptions and Practices. 2019. American University in Cairo, Master's thesis. AUC Knowledge Fountain.

https://fount.aucegypt.edu/etds/739

This Thesis is brought to you for free and open access by AUC Knowledge Fountain. It has been accepted for inclusion in Theses and Dissertations by an authorized administrator of AUC Knowledge Fountain. For more information, please contact mark.muehlhaeusler@aucegypt.edu.

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The American University in Cairo School of Humanities and Social Sciences

The Usage of Songs in Arabic as a Foreign Language Classes: Teachers’

Perceptions and Practices

A Thesis Submitted to

The Department of Applied Linguistics in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for The Degree of Master of Arts in Teaching Arabic as a Foreign Language

By

Yahia Moshtahari

Under the supervision of Dr. Raghda El Essawi

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III

ABSTRACT

This study investigates Arabic as a Foreign Language (AFL) teachers’ perceptions towards

the usefulness of songs in fostering language acquisition in AFL classes, in addition to the practices they employ, and the alignment between teacher perceptions and practices. Perceptions and practices are examined further through a focus on the purposes for using songs in class, the activities teachers use with songs, and the challenges they face with using songs in class. In addition, the study evaluates whether there are any demographic features that distinguish teachers who use songs from those who do not.

The aforementioned topics were investigated through an online questionnaire that received responses from 66 AFL teachers, as well as interviews with six of these teachers to further explore and analyze the findings of the questionnaire. The results of this study indicate an overwhelming consensus among participating AFL teachers in regard to the usefulness of songs in classes to foster language acquisition for all proficiency levels and most AFL class types. The study also reveals a lack of alignment between teacher perceptions and practices, as a result of challenges teachers face in finding suitable songs as well as dealing with varying student attitudes towards their usage.

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IV

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

I embarked on a journey to answer my research questions with the support of the following people, without whom I never would have reached my destination, and to whom I would like to express my gratitude:

- My Thesis Supervisor and Advisor Dr. Raghda El Essawi, for her invaluable guidance, support and patience

- Dr. Dalal Abou El Seoud, for her advice and insightful comments

- Mohamed Hassan Hamed, Mohamed Bayoumi, Shereen El Shendy, Wesam Sayyed, Mona Azzam, Amira Eid, and all my TAFL colleagues, for their help in many ways throughout this journey

- Dr. Hassan Zaky and Mr.Amr Abdellatif, for their assistance in preparing the questionnaire and analyzing the data using SPSS

- Amira Elmallah, for her efficient editing and her interesting comments

- Marwa El Maghraby, for her hard work transcribing the interviews and reviewing the first three chapters

- Micheal El Nemais, for editing the references

- All the TAFL faculty, including Dr. Zeinab Taha, Dr. Mona Kamel, Dr.Atta Gebril, Dr. Reem Bassiouney, Dr.Shahira Yacout, Dr. Ashraf Abdou, Mrs. Rasha Essam and Mrs. Sara Tarek, for their support throughout the past three years as a student in the TAFL program

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DEDICATION

To my father, Refaat Moshtahari, the music teacher whose footsteps I followed, though in my own way.

To my mother, Hoda Zaki, who encouraged me to explore myself and my skills.

To my dear friends, Mahmoud Sameh, Marie Vannetzel, and all my friends in the “3aggam” Choir, who inspired me to arrive at this destination.

To Shaimaa Mesk, and Dina Zaki, who encouraged me to take the first steps to reach where I am now.

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VI

Table of Contents

ABSTRACT ... III ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ... IV DEDICATION ... V List of Tables ... IX List of Figures ... X Chapter 1: Introduction ... 1

1.1 Importance of using songs in Foreign/Second Language learning ... 1

1.2 Problem statement ... 5

1.3 Purpose of the study ... 7

1.4 Research questions ... 8

1.5 Definitions ... 9

1.6 Abbreviations ... 9

Chapter 2: Literature Review ... 11

2.1 Introduction ... 11

2.2 Purposes of using songs in F/SL classes ... 12

2.2.1 Cultural awareness ... 13

2.2.2 Vocabulary acquisition and text recall ... 16

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VII

2.4 Studies about teachers’ perceptions and practices on using songs in F/SL and AFL classes

... 19 Chapter 3: Methodology ... 29 3.1 Introduction ... 29 3.2 Research design ... 29 3.3 Instruments ... 30 3.4 Participants ... 32

Chapter 4: Results and discussion... 34

4.1 Introduction ... 34

4.2 Results addressing the first research question ... 34

4.3 Results addressing the second research question ... 39

4.4 Results addressing the third research question ... 47

4.4.1 Teacher usage of songs and its alignment with teacher perceptions ... 48

4.4.2 Usage of songs in regard to proficiency level and its alignment with teacher perceptions ... 49

4.4.3 Usage of songs in regard to AFL class types and its alignment with teacher perceptions ... 53

4.4.4 Types of activities in which songs are used ... 56

4.4.5 Non-Users of Songs ... 60

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4.6 Results addressing the fifth research question ... 71

Chapter 5: Conclusion... 81

5.1 Introduction ... 81

5.2 Main findings of the study ... 81

5.3 Pedagogical implications... 86

5.4 Limitations and delimitations of the study ... 89

5.5 Further research ... 90

References ... 92

Appendices ... 99

Appendix A: Teachers’ Consent ... 99

Appendix B: Teachers’ Questionnaire ... 101

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IX

List of Tables

Table 1: Answers of Q14 ... 37 Table 2: Answers of Q15 ... 38 Table 3: Answers of Q19 ... 40 Table 4: Answers of Q16 ... 48

Table 5: Comparison between answers of Q13 and Q16 ... 49

Table 6: Answers of Q17 ... 50

Table 7: Answers of Q10 ... 51

Table 8: Comparison between answers of Q14 and Q17 ... 53

Table 9: Answers of Q18 ... 54

Table 10: Answers of Q11 ... 55

Table 11: Comparison between answers of Q15 and Q18 ... 56

Table 12: Answers of Q20 ... 58

Table 13: Answers of Q23 ... 62

Table 14: Gender of the participants (Q2) ... 65

Table 15: Age of the participants (Q3) ... 66

Table 16: Comparison between answers of Q13 and Q3 ... 67

Table 17: Comparison between answers of Q19 and Q3 ... 68

Table 18: Comparison between answers of Q20 and Q3 ... 69

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X

List of Figures

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Chapter 1: Introduction

1.1 Importance of using songs in Foreign/Second Language learning

Scholars have elaborated a variety of ways in which songs can be a useful tool in Foreign/Second Language (F/SL) instruction. Songs are used as one of the tools for foreign language teaching for many reasons. Mishan (2005) notes that songs are the area product and a representation of culture, and may influence it. In this sense, they can be used for enhancing the cultural awareness of F/SL students. Alan Pulverness (2003) explains the relevance of this awareness, “the experience of learning another language is more than simply the acquisition of an alternative means of expression. It involves a process of acculturation, akin to the effort required of the traveler, striving to come to terms with different social structures, different assumptions and different expectations” (Pulverness, 2003, p.429). In this case, grammar might seem an easy target to achieve in comparison with sociocultural or pragmatic competence. Insofar as songs represent culture, learning them would better equip the F/SL learner to understand and inhabit the culture as it is reflected in language.

Murphey (1992) suggests that due to the primacy of the human sense of hearing, and the corresponding sensitivity to music, that “music and song have a closer appeal to our ‘language acquisition device’ than spoken language” (Murphey, 1992, p.7). This theory has been

considered credible, based on the evidence that language and musical processing occur in the same area of the brain. That would explain the extraordinary attributes of songs as Mishan (2005) described such as “the rapidity with which they can be unconsciously and unwittingly memorized, and the tenacity of the melody-lyrics link that enables songs to be recalled in their

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entirety even after years of absence from the ‘conscious’ memory” (Mishan, 2005, p.198). Mori (2011) makes the same link between songs and memory, concluding that singing is a useful pedagogical means for teaching the vocabulary of the Foreign Language (FL), as she manages to prove in her study that songs positively affect immediate and delayed recognition of vocabulary. Metaxa (2013) and Salcedo (2010) have reached similar results in their studies.

In addition to the aforementioned roles songs can play in the learning process, songs can provoke positive attitudes and emotions that are more conducive to language learning overall. A third reason is reducing anxiety. In his “Affective Filter Hypothesis” Krashen (1982) mentions that the extent to which linguistic input is received from the environment depends largely upon the learner’s “affect”, that is his inner feelings and attitude. Negative emotions, functioning much

like a filter, can prevent the learner from making total use of the linguistic input from his environment. Therefore, if he is anxious, unmotivated, or simply lacks confidence, language acquisition will be limited. It is, therefore, in the interest of the F/SL teacher to provide an environment which evokes positive emotions. Medina (2002), builds off of Krashen’s Hypothesis by suggesting that “Music can evoke positive emotions which can lower the “affective filter” and bring about language acquisition, beside that it may motivate and captivate

the attention of foreign language learners in ways that oral stories cannot” (Medina, 2002, p.3).

In addition to Krashen’s Hypothesis, the psychologist Howard Gardner theory of “Multiple Intelligences” also emphasizes the key role the environment plays in the learning process.

Gardner posits that individuals possess eight or more relatively autonomous intelligences. In this theory, and that all humans are born with a propensity to excel in all of these areas, yet their

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ability to actualize them is largely dependent upon the influences of culture, motivation level and experiences. As a result, most individuals tend to excel in only one or two of these areas. The suggestion here is to use music in foreign language classes, as it could allow teachers to use the students’ musical intelligence and their musical interests to achieve mastery of language skills.

In her study “Revisiting Songs in Language Pedagogy” Aquil (2012) presents the importance of songs from many aspects: culturally, historically, cognitively, and above all, pedagogically. She states that songs can help in improving listening skills, such as speech perception, word recognition, and parsing. Moreover, “Songs are pure listening material that engages top-down and bottom-up processing and listening strategies, not only at the word, but also at the phrase and discourse, conceptual and cultural level” (Aquil, 2012, p.78). In addition, Conrad (1991) refers to the importance of songs’ lyrics since they can be an excellent source for exposing students to vocabulary and grammar, rich in idiomatic language and everyday grammar and structure. In addition to providing exposure to everyday language, Aquil notes that songs also offer a unique opportunity for “a precision focus on discrete forms or morphology that is often missed in running speech because of their lack of saliency” (Aquil, 2012, p.78). Moreover the nature of music as a form of expression accessible to everyone means it can provide exposure to language’s inherent diversity wherein, “song lyrics generally present a range of style, register and trope, often in productive tension with the musical setting.” (Conrad, 1991; Aquil, 2012, p.78).

Arabic is a diglossic language in which there are differences between the variety of Arabic dialects spoken within and across countries on one hand and between colloquial Arabic and

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Modern Standard Arabic (MSA)on the other hand as referred to by Alhussain (2009). These differences are reflected in songs, as some were written in MSA while others were written in one of the colloquial Arabic dialects, such as Egyptian Colloquial Arabic (ECA). Likewise, songs written in both MSA and ECA have been used by practitioners in Arabic as a Foreign Language (AFL) classes and curriculum. For example, a project to integrate songs into the AFL curriculum was carried out at the University of Texas with High-elementary students, through both

composing songs in Arabic and using authentic Arabic songs for pedagogical purposes. Other examples include the online database for using listening materials and songs developed by Nadia Alhussain in 2009 and by Rajaa Aquil in 2012.

Recently, teaching institutions in the Arab world have begun to develop their own song-based curricula and approaches. For example, the Department of Teaching Contemporary Arabic at the French Institute in Cairo known as its French initials, DEAC has developed their own material for teaching ECA songs, in addition to poetry. DEAC teachers are continuously updating the material and have produced versions such as “Poetry and Songs1”, and the latest edition called “A word in a song2”. This material is divided into social topics, and within each topic there are particular songs or poetry that address the topic; students are engaged through activities that focus on both the linguistic and cultural aspects of the songs. Dr. Tarek Abbas of Cairo University’s Center of Arabic Language and Culture takes a unique approach by training

students to sing specific Arabic songs. This exposes them to diverse vocabulary reflecting the aesthetics of the language well as grammar in a way that is also highly interactive and

entertaining.

1يناغلأاورعشلا

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Finally, in terms of pedagogical resources, Osama Bahaa-Eddin prepared two books published by the American University in Cairo, for teaching songs specifically to AFL students. The first book is “A Sweet word3”. This book presents 20 Egyptian songs in ECA covering the period from 1949 – 2009; his second book is “The Music of Words4” that presents songs in MSA from different eras. Both booksdivided into lessons that include the song lyrics written in Arabic letters, in addition to the explanation for the story behind the song, exercises on the vocabulary and grammar, and expressions related to the cultural background that are present in the song.

1.2 Problem statement

Despite these efforts to integrate Arabic songs into AFL classes and materials as well their importance for learning, the field lacks studies about AFL teachers’ perceptions of the value of songs as a pedagogical tool and practices integrating songs into their AFL classes. Such studies are important since, Borg (2003) states studies focusing on teachers, their views, thoughts, beliefs, as well as their teaching practices, are located in the vicinity of teacher cognition research, that is, what teachers think, know, and believe, and the relationship of these mental constructs to what teachers do in the language classroom.

Among the few scholars who have examined teachers' use of songs in AFL classes is Hamed (2017), who investigated the criteria AFL teachers use for selecting authentic audiovisual materials (AAM) including songs through an online questionnaire for AFL teachers, classroom observations, and interviews with AFL teachers. Hamed’s results show that songs are among the

3

ةولح ةملك

4

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three genres of AAM that AFL teachers use most frequently for all language proficiency levels. This in turn may indicate that they are highly favored by AFL teachers as a pedagogical tool. However, further research specifically about teacher perceptions and practices needs to be conducted to verify this presumption.

Other reasons for studying teacher perceptions regarding the use of songs in teaching is presented by Tegge (2015) who asserts that “as songs are not usually part of formalized teaching, it is of even greater importance to investigate their use in an exploratory and descriptive manner” (Tegge, 2015, p.14). Furthermore, Hamed (2017) mentioned in his study implications, that there are a number of challenges in selecting songs as a form of authentic material, and the behavioral and linguistic correlation with using them. This could affect teacher perceptions regarding using this pedagogical device in class, making the study of such perceptions a more urgent need.

Ramazani (2012) states that teacher’s beliefs and their perceptions of teaching, as well as learning, play an important role in their classroom practices and in their professional growth. And in light of the theoretical beliefs they hold about teaching and learning, they make decisions about classroom instruction. Also, their beliefs and perceptions influence their goals, procedures, materials, classroom interaction patterns, roles, students, and the schools they work in. Hence, teachers’ assumptions about language and language learning provide the basis for a particular approach to language instruction, and it is important to study such perceptions in order to fully understand them and predict their effect on teacher performance in the class.

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It must be noted that the existence of positive perceptions of a pedagogical tool does not necessarily mean that this tool will be used in class. There are a number of intervening factors that could stand in the way of using a pedagogical tool, even if the teacher believes in the efficacy of the tool. For example, in the case of songs, Almutairi and Shukri (2017) found that EFL Saudi teachers in their study did not use songs because of their religious and cultural beliefs, despite the fact that they find a pedagogical benefit in using songs. Therefore, it is also important not just to explore AFL teachers’ perceptions regarding the usage of songs in their classes, but also to explore their practices, in order to verify if it is aligned with their perceptions or not.

1.3 Purpose of the study

The purpose of this study is to explore AFL teachers’ perceptions of the pedagogical value of using songs and practices using songs in AFL classes through a questionnaire that will be an adaptation of one used by Tegge (2015) in her study entitled “Investigating Song-Based Language Teaching and Its Effect on Lexical Learning.” Tegge conducted a survey to explore SL teachers’ perspectives on the usage of songs in teaching; participating teachers in this study

came from New Zealand and other countries all over the world. Although Tegge’s study included AFL teachers, the limited number of AFL participants a mere six AFL teachers out of 568 SL teachers means the results of this study cannot be used to draw conclusions about AFL teachers’ perceptions and practices. The researcher’s hypothesis is that AFL teachers will agree or strongly agree on the usefulness of using songs in AFL class, in all proficiency levels’ and in

all AFL class types. However this will not always translate to actual use of songs in their AFL classes.For those that do use songs in practice, the main purposes for using songs in AFL class

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are expected to be to enhance culture awareness and support vocabulary acquisition, in addition to providing an enjoyable activity for AFL learners. The researcher also expects that specific demographic features will distinguish users of songs in AFL classes from non-users in regard to perceptions and practices of using songs. Finally, regarding teachers that hold positive perceptions of the usage of songs, the researcher hypothesizes that the main challenges they will articulate are the difficulty of identifying suitable songs and the reluctance or refusal of some learners of the practice of singing.

1.4 Research questions

Five research questions will be addressed in this study:

1- How do AFL teachers perceive the usefulness of songs in fostering AFL acquisition?

2- What are the purposes for which AFL teachers employ songs in their classes? Why?

3- What are the teaching practices AFL teachers employ when using songs in their classes? Do they align with teacher perceptions? Why?

4- What are the demographic features of AFL teachers who use songs for fostering AFL acquisition versus those who don't?

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1.5 Definitions

Perception: Hasa (2016) mentioned that the word “perception” refers to the way in which someone notices something using his/her senses or the way in which he/she understands or thinks about something. Perceptions can vary from person to person according to influential factors, such as background, education, knowledge, religion and culture.

Hasa (2016) makes a distinction between perception and belief, wherein perception is only a way to view or understand something, it is not a conviction. Therefore, a perception of a person can change over time”.

Practice: This study will adopt Martínez-Rizo’s (2012) definition of “teaching practices” as the set of activities undertaken by teachers, as part of their work in the classroom or in direct connection with it, so that students achieve the learning objectives set out in the curriculum.

1.6 Abbreviations

F/SL = Foreign/Second Language SL = Second Language

FL = Foreign Language

AFL = Arabic as a Foreign Language EFL = English as a Foreign Language ESL = English as a Second Language MSA = Modern Standard Arabic ECA = Egyptian Colloquial Arabic AAM = Authentic Audio-visual Material

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ALI = Arabic Language Instruction Department AUC = American University in Cairo

DEAC = Le Département d’Enseignement de l’Arabe contemporain (Department of Teaching Contemporary Arabic at the French Institute in Cairo)

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Chapter 2: Literature Review

2.1 Introduction

This chapter discusses the literature on the importance of using songs in F/SL classes as indicated by the variety of purposes songs serve, which has been elaborated upon byClaerr and Gargan (1984), Murphey (1992), and Mishan (2005). The chapter focuses on two purposes in particular, firstly, enhancing cultural awareness which has been addressed in the studies of Failoni (1993), Arevalo (2010), and Shayakhmetova, Shayakhmetova Ashrapova, and Zhuravleva (2017) studies and secondly, vocabulary acquisition and text recall, which have been examined by Salcedo (2010), Mori (2011), and Metaxa (2013). This discussion of the purpose of using songs is further enriched by an exploration of practice, including actual cases involving the integration of songs into AFL material and classes in particular, as well as an examination of studies that explore the perceptions and practices of F/SL teachers of a variety of languages such as Tegge (2015) Edwards (1997), Bjorklund (2002) and Sevik (2011). This examination has made apparent the lack of studies that specifically address AFL instruction on this matter. The only study available conducted by Hamed (2017) does not provide a comprehensive and in-depth understanding of what AFL teachers perceive and do concerning the use of songs in classes. Finally, the chapter presents studies that found non-alignment between teachers’ perceptions of using songs and their practices, such as Petrus (2012), Lu (2017), and Almutairi and Shukri (2017).

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2.2 Purposes of using songs in F/SL classes

In their paper regarding the role of songs in the foreign language classroom, Claerr and Gargan (1984) identified various purposes related to comprehension, grammar and vocabulary. They note that songs can be used in teaching listening comprehension, they can be considered a type of exaggerated speech, and mention specific exercises that can be developed for listening practice, including having students fill in the blanks of the text as they listen, write down words they recognize. Additionally, they note linguistic benefits including using song that reinforce recently learned grammatical structures or vocabulary. Regarding communicative activities, Claerr and Gargan (1984) propose creating a survey based on a song's theme, student descriptions of the action in a song, and discussion of the author's intent or feelings. Finally, they acknowledge that a substantial benefit of using songs is that they provide variety in the class routine and are enjoyable and relaxing.

In his book “Music and Song,” Murphey (1992) highlights activities in which songs can be used to set the tone of the learning environment and personalize the learning experience for students, as well as serve as a dynamic pedagogical tool with multiple uses. Songs can be used to engage the students both with the music, through singing, humming, whistling, tapping, and snapping as well as with the content and form through discussing the music, lyrics, singer and video clips. Songs and music can also be used to affect the learning experience, for example to set or change an atmosphere or mood, and to encourage students to make associations with people, places and times, so that they become the personal soundtrack of their lives. In terms of the learning environment, Murphey indicates that songs can be used to study grammar and practice selective listening comprehension, and that song and related articles and books can be

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read for linguistic purposes. He suggests a variety of activities for using songs, including translating them, composing dialogues using their lyrics, performing role-plays, dictation, as a basis for gap-filling, cloze exercises, or for correction, teaching vocabulary and breaking the routine.

In her book “Designing Authenticity into Language Learning Materials” Mishan (2005) dedicated a chapter to the usage of songs and music in Second Language (SL) classes. She elaborates what she calls “principles for the use of songs for language learning” which includes

employing songs as cultural artefacts, as well as exploiting the unique features of songs such as the innate predisposition for linking music, rhythm and language; the power of the auditory over other senses; the emotive strength of songs; and the mutually supportive melody-lyrics

relationship. The final principle is that songs can be used not only as language input, but also as stimuli for language output.

2.2.1 Cultural awareness

Many scholars have elaborated on the cultural aspect of songs, or as Griffee (1992) states, “Bringing a song into the classroom entails bringing the culture of the song in with it,” and thus “songs can be used as a way of looking at a culture and comparing it with other cultures”

(Griffee, 1992, p.160). Saricoban and Metin (2000) argue that songs are particularly suited for facilitating cultural awareness “song lyrics are relating to the situation of the world around. They are the means through which cultural themes can be presented effectively (Saricoban & Metin, 2000, p.1).

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Failoni (1993) also refers to the benefits of using music to teach cultural awareness as it can be used to highlight cultural diversity among countries in which the target language is spoken, and support other material for cultural units in the classroom. She argues “The use of music in the foreign language classroom offers a unique approach to enhance students' awareness of another culture, and also can aid in the practice of communication skills” (Failoni, 1993, p.97). She reiterates what Jayne Abrate; an expert in using music in the classroom, claims in her 1983 article that music can also be the basis for a course on culture, through employing songs to explore thematic units such as geography/travel, family life, education, work/leisure, government, and everyday life.

Arevalo (2010) conducted classroom action research, referring to research which is conducted in a classroom to increase the quality of teaching practices. The main research question that guides his study was, “How can English songs be used as a tool to foster listening skill as well as to engage students in cultural knowledge?” (Arevalo, 2010, p.127) In order to collect the information needed to answer the research question, he conducted six workshops using six songs as a teaching material. In addition he used a questionnaire, classroom observations, students’ documents and semi-structured interviews. Arevalo first applied a questionnaire to gather data on the background and interests of listening students. Second, he collected students’ documents based on the six workshops and observed the performance of the students during the lessons. Finally, he developed an interview in order to analyze students’ final reflections about the whole achievements of the study. Arevalo found that this set of lesson plans really helped students to accomplish greater listening comprehension and engagement with cultural knowledge. He concluded “When students reflect on social and cultural issues, they feel

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that their English learning is supported on a meaningful and real environment, so they can perceive and understand the importance of learning a foreign language” (Arevalo, 2010, p.130).

Shayakhmetova, Shayakhmetova Ashrapova, and Zhuravleva (2017) prepared a set of exercises for English as a Foreign Language (EFL) classes, based on the use of songs to impart socio-cultural and regional knowledge of Great Britain, serving to familiarize students with the culture and way of life, and to facilitate a deeper understanding of the representatives of this linguistic cultural community. They followed these exercises with a survey to assess the effectiveness of using songs in EFL classes, specifically regarding their effect on developing intercultural competence. Both students and teachers of EFL in Russia were asked to respond to these questionnaires. Finally, an analysis of English language course books was conducted to the extent that songs were used while focusing on their cultural significance; then, a test was

conducted to check the students’ knowledge of the history and culture of Britain. The results of

the test showed there is statistically significant difference between the two groups of students in favor of the experimental group (17.6% difference) which indicates the expediency of using song in development of intercultural competence.

Meanwhile, results also showed overwhelmingly positive attitudes, both of the students (100%) and the teachers (83%), to the use of songs in English classes;nevertheless, this did not translate into a higher frequency of using them. However, Shayakhmetova, Shayakhmetova, Ashrapova and Zhuravleva found that when selecting songs, teachers do not pay attention to the availability of linguistic and socio-cultural information in lyrics. Although they perceive songs as a valuable tool for language development and acquaintance with the culture, customs, and

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psychology of native speakers, 67% of the teachers hardly use them in their classes. Moreover, use of songs aroused interest among students; they expressed the opinion that lyrics have a much deeper meaning and varied information than they thought before using them in English classes. They expressed a desire to continue studying songs during class in keeping with this approach.

2.2.2 Vocabulary acquisition and text recall

Mori (2011) conducted a study among Japanese as a Foreign Language students to investigate whether songs positively affected immediate and delayed recognition of vocabulary. A quasi-experimental design, with two groups, was used. Some students were assigned to a singing group that learned the target vocabulary through a song, while the others were assigned to a control group that learnt the same vocabulary through recorded speech. Results showed a significant difference in the second post-test in favor of the singing group, which confirmed the hypothesis that exposure to songs, can improve vocabulary acquisition. Mori argued that music might be more effective for long-term retention rather than short-term retention. This study suggested that singing had a larger effect on vocabulary acquisition than recitation did.

Metaxa (2013) investigated whether the use of authentic songs in the introduction of new vocabulary items had an effect on vocabulary acquisition and retention for foreign language learners. This was achieved by comparing the results of introduction of the new vocabulary through text (non-song method) to the introduction of the same vocabulary through an authentic song (song method). Three achievement tests for each method of instruction were conducted with 15 to 17-year-old Cypriot students of English as a Foreign Language. Findings indicated that both instructional methods increased the passive, active and overall vocabulary scores, but

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the song method group has higher scores than the non-song method group immediately following instruction and one week later. The study suggested that authentic songs should be officially included in the Cypriot curriculum of foreign language teaching to introduce new vocabulary. It also proposed conducting practical personal development seminars for language teachers that would train teachers to use authentic songs efficiently, and finally, that the use of authentic songs in other subject areas should be tried and investigated.

Salcedo (2010) conducted a study to examine the effect of music on text recall, delayed text recall, and the occurrence of the involuntary mental rehearsal or “din” phenomenon. Participants, American Spanish as a Foreign Language students between 17 and 41 years old, were divided into three groups. The first group (the music group) listened to a commercially recorded song in Spanish, while the second group (the text group) listened to the same song in the format of recorded speech. The third group was the control group. Results from an ANOVA test showed that text recall was better in the song condition than the text passage. As for the treatment condition, it did not affect delayed recall; however it impacted involuntary mental rehearsal. In discussing the implications of the study for the foreign language instruction, Salcedo (2010) argues, “The use of songs could replace excessive readings, which would not only relieve some language performance anxiety, but also possibly improve the long-range potential for better pronunciation. Songs provide a way for beginning students to repeatedly hear the native pronunciation in a natural occurrence until they are comfortable enough to produce speech. In the case of songs, students would hear the correct sounds rather than their own strong non-native pronunciation that is heard when they read” (Salcedo, 2010, p. 27).

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2.3 Using songs in AFL classes

A project to integrate songs into the curriculum was carried out at the University of Texas with High-Elementary level AFL students using a combination of authentic teacher-composed easy songs for teaching patterns5 and time6. After each song-based activity, students filled out a survey that investigated gauged their opinions about songs. The results of the survey indicated that students found the activities interesting, that it broke the routine of the usual class formats, and that in general the song-based activity was beneficial for them. Students expressed their hope to continue learning the language and culture through music.

As part of materials portfolio project for the University of Oregon, Alhussain (2009) made available online self-directed use materials based on themes taken from various authentic Arabic radio and TV programs, as well as authentic Arabic songs, newscasts and advertisements

These materials are considered to be an efficient and practical source of language practices by the AFL students, from low to high intermediate levels, and can be used whenever and wherever there is internet connectivity.

Aquil (2012) focused on Arabic songs as a part of a Song Project grant, which is a web-based course, capitalizing on songs as the base of a content-web-based course designed by Georgia Tech’s School of Modern Languages as an innovative multimedia program that exposes students

to a wide variety of linguistically rich and musically engaging songs.

5

نازولأا

6

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2.4 Studies about teachers’ perceptions and practices on using songs in F/SL and AFL classes

Hall (2005) points out that what teachers do in the classroom is governed by what they perceive to work best, and that these perceptions often serve to act as filters through which instructional judgments and decisions are made. Borg (2003) points out that there is a need to understand, and account for the underlying belief systems of language teachers and the impact these have on their classroom practices in order to improve educational practices.

Regarding teachers’ perceptions of and practices in using songs in F/SL and AFL classes,

this section will focus first on the study conducted by Tegge (2015) due to the wide scope of the study, the number of teachers that took part in it, and the important results it generated. In this study, Tegge mentions that there are many factors that influence teachers’ views and classroom practices, such as institutional and curricular constraints, their professional coursework, their ongoing teaching experiences, in addition to their learning experiences as students

Tegge employed a questionnaire to explore song use from the perspective of SL teachers’ and investigate their perceptions, as well as their teaching practices involving the use of songs. She didn’t analyze the alignment between perceptions and practice because the main focus of

her thesis was to explore if songs are beneficial for lexical learning. Her thesis involved two other individual studies beside the questionnaire, a song-corpus analysis and an intervention study, which inform and build on each other. The three studies respond to different research questions and apply three distinct methodological approaches.

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The questionnaire, which received responses from 568 teachers in 41 countries, indicated that the majority believed in the usefulness of songs for language learning, and that many respondents utilized songs in class for clearly defined pedagogical purposes, including vocabulary learning. The strongest support, almost 90% agreement, was voiced for using songs with continuing beginners and low-intermediate beginners. Around 80% of informants found songs useful when working with absolute beginners and high-intermediate learners. Agreement was lowest for advanced learners, particularly for high-advanced learners. Over 90% of respondents reported that they use songs to motivate their students in that it provides an enjoyable activity, while 73.5% use them to teach authentic language and culture, and 69.3% use them to introduce new vocabulary. Tegge used these results to guide the focus of her research explaining, “The fact that between half and more than two-thirds of informants used songs to teach vocabulary in some way warrants the focus of the present research project on the use of songs to foster word knowledge. In comparison, the number of informants using songs to teach grammar was clearly lower” (Tegge, 2015, p.73).

The questionnaire also elicited information about the reasons for not using songs from the 83 respondents who answered in the questionnaire that they don’t use songs in class. Of these non-users, 38.6 % indicated that they couldn’t fit songs in with the official curriculum, while 25.3% indicated that using songs meant spending too much time for a minimal learning outcome. But overall, selection rates for all answer options were low. It seems that none of the available responses resonated with the majority of respondents. Also, it is important to note that only ten informants identified with the view that songs were of little use as a teaching tool in class, and only two informants added in the questionnaire’s open-ended section that they

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considered songs to be inappropriate when teaching adults. The majority (57.3%), specifically 328 respondents spent no less than 15 minutes on a song and related activities in one lesson.The main challenges teachers faced were that they could not find any suitable songs (28.7%) and that the learners did not like to sing (27.1%).

Beside Tegge’s study, there are other studies that explore either teachers’ perceptions of or

practices when using songs as a pedagogical tool. For example, Edwards (1997) conducted research with 33 elementary English as a Second Language (ESL) teachers of students from kindergarten through fifth grade, in order to explore if they used music for ESL purposes, the way they used it, the prohibitions preventing them from wider use, and finally their need for further training in order to use music. A general analysis of the investigation indicates that (60%) use music for ESL purposes twice a week or more. The amount of time varies depending on the individual teacher. Furthermore, a majority of those who use music use it to teach vocabulary, cultural awareness and appreciation. Music is also used to lower the affective filter and increase the receptivity of the student to learning a new language. There are two main challenges that prohibit teachers from making greater use of music for ESL purposes the lack of money, considering that using music and songs at the time of the study required tapes or CD’s, in addition to the lack of training, as they expressed need for further training in using music for ESL purposes.

Bjorklund (2002) added a new element to these studies by investigating the efficacy of practices from the perspective of both learners and instructors, namely international college students (graduate and undergraduate) and their ESL instructors. In this investigation, ESL

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instructors were asked about how music was being used in the classroom, particularly to teach stress, intonation, and segmental pronunciation. Results show that instructors were in fact using songs to teach language stress, intonation, and pronunciation. Furthermore, the instructors reported that their students had improved in their overall intelligibility, which was the goal of the ESL classroom. In addition, few instructors reported receiving negative feedback from their students about using music in the ESL classroom. Regarding results on the student perspective, the study concluded that students found music helpful on all counts.

Sevik (2011) explored the views of 52 Turkish EFL teachers who are teaching in Turkish state primary schools. The results demonstrated that Turkish EFL teachers have strong beliefs about the pedagogical value of songs (94.2%); that songs are fun and full of pedagogical value (90.4%); and that songs are very important in developing the listening skills of young learners (94.2%). However, findings related to teaching challenges demonstrate that 77% of the teachers find it difficult to find appropriate songs and 69.3% believe that they do not have enough

resources to use songs. Therefore the study suggested that teachers should be provided with song materials to use in their classes, and that they be given in-service training on how to teach songs.

Rose (2016) conducted a study utilizing surveys and interviews with English and French as a Second Language. The study compiled a demographic profile of the teachers who use music in their SL teaching as well as their education, teaching experience and musical backgrounds. Findings showed that the respondents have a generally high regard for the use of musical activities. Further, the survey’s participants appear to place more value on the use of music when teaching SL to children, somewhat less with adolescents, and even less when teaching adults.

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The data showed that almost one quarter of the teachers who responded reported never using music in their teaching. As for the specific manner in which music was used in teaching SL, it appears that the activities chosen tended to be passive ones. For example, of those who use music, while 92% of respondents say they listen to songs in their classes, only 65% actually sing the songs. The researcher suggests that this may be caused by the fact that teachers are less comfortable with the more active ways of using music, perhaps because they themselves are less confident in those areas or because they believe that their students are less comfortable moving or singing. Among the competencies taught using music, listening comprehension was the overall favorite, followed by cultural awareness, pronunciation and vocabulary.

Teacher belief in Rose’s (2016) study also revealed what they perceive as barriers to using music. For example, a concern about the reluctance of adults to engage in musical activities is expressed throughout the survey; in fact, it emerges as the most common factor that prevents people from using music in their teaching. A second concern is the possibility of conflicting values and interests as well as inappropriate lyrics and video content. A third concern is a lack of confidence on the part of the teacher, perhaps based on the belief that they must have a certain amount of musical expertise in order to effectively use music to teach language. An overall observation about the comparison between teachers who state that they never use music in their teaching and teachers who state that they do is that the differences are not large. This is particularly true in terms of SL teaching qualifications: both groups have approximately the same level of SL training and experience. From this, it appears that teaching qualifications do not necessarily lead to increased music use and, conversely, that a lack of extensive teacher training does not necessarily prevent someone from using music in their teaching.

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Regarding teaching AFL, Hamed (2017) investigated the criteria for selecting authentic audiovisual materials (AAM) which include songs, designing authentic tasks to engage with the AAM, and the challenges which teachers encounter when selecting the materials and designing authentic tasks in the AFL classroom. This was done through an online questionnaire for teachers, classroom observations, and interviews with teachers. Data from the 112 responses to the questionnaires indicated show that AFL teachers frequently use three main genres of authentic materials, songs, news, and movies. Moreover, AFL teachers use them at all language proficiency levels, though more so in advanced levels than in elementary levels. Teachers indicate that they use authentic materials to a considerable degree in order to raise cultural awareness. Results showed that the criteria for selecting materials (including songs) are proficiency levels, learners’ needs and interests, relevance to the topic of the lesson, cultural

aspects, course objectives, and various lexical complexities. On the other hand, the main challenges in the selection of materials (including songs) are vocabulary, search for materials, and unclear audio-visuals.

It is interesting to note that some studies showed a conflict between teacher perceptions and their in class practices. In other words, studies showed positive perceptions towards the usage of a pedagogical tool but at the same time an avoidance of actually using it in class. This is

illustrated in a study by Petrus (2012) who has interviewed 10 student-teachers, who have

performed their teaching practices in English. She studied ways these student-teachers have used songs during their pre-service education and training. Results of her study indicated that

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that: it is relaxing and interesting, engages students and keeps them motivated, It can be used in order to teach grammar and vocabulary, can be used to improve listening and reading skills, is useful for improving pronunciation and that it encourages students to pay attention to the subject matter due to the fact that it is ‘something unusual’. Despite identifying many reasons that music

is a valuable teaching resource, not all respondents used songs while performing their teaching practice. Three student-teachers didn’t use music at all; five used songs only once, and two used songs two or three times. As for the challenges, they mentioned that students might find songs difficult to comprehend due to the use of slang words or connotations only quickly understood by native speakers. Moreover, songs do not always obey grammar rules and students might find word order or even conjugation troublesome. Among those who did use songs, they used songs: as warm-up activities in order to pre-teach vocabulary, to solve gap exercises with missing words, to create a positive learning environment and relax the students at the end of the lesson, in mime or role-play in analysis from different perspectives, to have fun, and to improve writing skills. Only one student-teacher made a reference to teaching culture or presenting culture through music.

Almutairi and Shukri’s (2017) study tried to explore the views and attitudes of EFL teachers in Saudi Arabia about using songs when teaching English to young learners. The perceptions of English language teachers in primary school in Jeddah were collected through the use of one instrument, a questionnaire. The results demonstrated that most of the teachers surveyed realized the pedagogical value of using songs when teaching English oral skills to young learners.

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Almutairi and Shukri suggested that teachers should be provided with chants that are free of musical instruments to avoid any controversies with cultural or religious beliefs.

Another study that reflected the same conflict was conducted by Lu (2017) in order to explore ESL teachers’ perceptions and practices about vocabulary instruction.Lu’s research also aims to explore whether teachers’ beliefs are congruent with their practices. Twenty-five teachers took part in this study, completing a survey designed to assess teachers’ beliefs on vocabulary instruction.This was followed by observation of three of the participants’ classes for one month. The observation has provided insights into how teachers actually taught vocabulary in class. At the end of the study, Lu collected the teaching materials of the three observed teachers and held a focus group discussion with them. The results show that participants held a positive attitude towards explicit vocabulary instruction in general, but they also supported implicit teaching. From the classroom observations and focus group discussion, it can be concluded that some teachers act differently from what they believe. When it comes to vocabulary teaching, it shows that some teachers may behave differently due to practical challenges which may partly come from themselves and/or outside factors like limited class time. These results emphasize the importance of investigating teacher practices in addition to teacher perceptions.

In conclusion, it appears from the findings of this chapter that songs are considered by F/SL research as a useful tool to foster cultural and linguistic aspects. As for teacher and student perceptions about this pedagogical tool research has shown that both groups view it as beneficial. However, despite teachers’ positive perceptions on the usefulness of using songs in F/SL classes,

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their practices sometimes don’t align with such perceptions for many reasons. These findings

assert the need to explore AFL teachers’ perceptions regarding the usefulness of using songs in classes.

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Chapter 3: Methodology

3.1 Introduction

This chapter presents more details about the design of the study. The purpose of this study is to explore AFL teachers’ perceptions of the pedagogical value of using songs in AFL classes, the purpose of their usage, and how all the above relates to their classroom practices regarding how songs are used.

3.2 Research design

Mixed methods (quantitative and qualitative) are most appropriate for the purpose of the study, as research conducted benefits from the strengths of both quantitative and qualitative approaches while avoiding the disadvantages of both. Dörnyei (2007) indicates that the mixed-method design avoids sampling bias and provides deep analysis of the quantitative findings. Furthermore, mixed methods provide numerical and descriptive analyses which enable researchers to gain a clear understanding of any phenomena apparent in the research. He also indicates that the convergence of results improves the validity of the research, and the corresponding evidence strengthens the generalization of the findings. Hence, this design will help eliciting information from the data quantitatively and qualitatively. Finally, he indicates that this method includes sequential and interrelated questionnaires, and interviews. Therefore, in the case of the current study, the tools used are as follows: a questionnaire which was analyzed quantitatively and interviews which were analyzed qualitatively.

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3.3 Instruments

The first data collection instrument to be used is the online questionnaire; in October 2018 it was sent to AFL teachers in Egypt and abroad. This questionnaire is adapted from Tegge’s (2015) questionnaire that was used for exploring teachers’ perception towards the use of songs, by trying to elicit information about teachers’ perceptions about songs as teaching tools and their teaching practice involving songs, in addition to gathering demographic data such as academic background, and teaching experience. Though the study relies on Tegge’s questionnaire as a model, the content was adapted in a manner that ensured it would answer the research questions of this study, and would be relevant to the experiences of AFL teachers. This adaptation involved changing the types of F/SL classes that were used by Tegge into AFL class types such as (MSA, Colloquial Arabic, Listening and speaking, Culture, Media Arabic, Writing, and Conversation classes) in questions 11, 15, and 18. The researcher also changed the proficiency levels from six levels in Tegge’s questionnaire into four levels (Elementary, Intermediate, Advanced, and

Superior) in questions 10, 14, and 17. The researcher shortened the questionnaire for this study to become 24 questions rather than 43 questions in Tegge’s questionnaire. This was done through

removing the questions that are related to musical background and experience, and questions related to teachers’ perceptions in regard Usefulness of using song to teach one specific aspect of F/SL acquisition namely vocabulary in favor of more general questions about all forms of F/SL learning. The removed questions were not in the interest of the researcher to find their answers. The Google Forms questionnaire tool allowed the use of so-called skip logic. That is, if a teacher selects a particular response to a question, they consequently skip some of the following questions that are irrelevant to them based on their previous response. For example, if a teacher states that he/she does not use songs in the classroom, he/she will skip all questions requesting

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information about the details of his/her song-use, but will still encounter the rest of the questions that are relevant to him/her. The questionnaire is divided to five sections (For more details please refer to appendix B p.98). The first section includes 12 questions that collect demographic information on the participants, and addresses the fourth research question in regard to demographic features that distinguishes teachers who do use songs from those who don’t. The rest of the sections consist of 12 questions that target the teacher’s perceptions and practice of

using songs in his/her AFL class(es), to address research questions 1-3 and 5. All the questions in this questionnaire are structured except the last question.

Questions 13, 14, and 15 provide answers for the first research questions regarding teachers’ perceptions, while questions 16 - 18 and questions 20 and 23 provide answers for the third research question about teacher practices. Question 19 provides answers for the second research question regarding purposes for which teachers employ songs, while question 22 addresses the last research question regarding the challenges that face teachers when using songs. The last question number 24 is an open ended question designed to gather comments from the teacherand allow for the possibility of discovering additional areas to explore regarding the usage of songs.

Face-to-face interviews were conducted with the teachers to gather more in depth data about teacher perceptions and practices for qualitative analysis and provide answers for all the research questions except the first and fourth questions. Interviews included eight open-ended questions, typically lasting for 20 minutes (See appendix C p. 115 for more details). The first six questions allow for a more in depth exploration of the second and third research questions regarding teaching the purposes and practices of using songs while the last two questions allow for the

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exploration of the fifth question regarding challenges teachers face. The interviews were recorded and saved on the researcher's computer.

The quantitative data from the questionnaire was coded and classified using a Microsoft excel sheet before being analyzed. This data was then analyzed quantitatively using SPSS program. As for the qualitative data, the researcher transcribed the interviews, coded the transcripts by giving alphabetical letter to each interviewee according to the order of their interviews timing. Finally, the researcher constructed the results based on the findings of both the questionnaire and interviews. The qualitative data was analyzed using descriptive analysis.

3.4 Participants

In order to obtain a representative sample which ensures the credibility of generalizing the findings, the researcher strove to reach a large number of AFL teachers for the questionnaire by distributing it via online networks of AFL teachers on webpages such as the American

Association of Teachers of Arabic (AATA) website, and the Arabic Language Institution Department at the American University in Cairo (ALI). The questionnaire was also distributed on social networking website Facebook via groups of AFL teachers such as

1- )TAFLers اهبنيقطانلاريغلةيبرعلاةغللاسيردت( which translates to “Teaching Arabic as a Foreign Language”

2- اهريغبنيقطانللةيبرعلاوملعم which translates to “Arabic as a Foreign Language Teachers” 3- (TAFL Master Students at AUC)

4- (ةيبرعلاةذتاسانمديدجليج) which translates to “A New Generation of Arabic teachers” 5- (اهريغبنيقطانللةيبرعلاةغللايملعمةباقن) which translates to “The AFL Teachers Syndicate”

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A total of 66 AFL teachers of different nationalities, academic backgrounds, and AFL teaching experience responded to the questionnaire. The researcher chose six Egyptian AFL teachers to participate in the interview procedure, based to their answers on the questionnaire. Two of them mentioned that they don’t use songs in AFL classes while the rest mentioned that

they do; the researcher chose teachers that do and do not use songs in order to explore both sides’ perceptions and reasons for using or not using songs in depth.

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Chapter 4: Results and discussion

4.1 Introduction

This chapter outlines the findings of both the questionnaire and the interviews used to collect data for the study, and then links these findings to the research questions. It subsequently compares them to the findings of studies from the literature review covered in chapter two.

The purpose of the study is to answer five research questions:

1- How do AFL teachers perceive the usefulness of songs in fostering AFL acquisition? 2- What are the purposes for which AFL teachers employ songs in their classes? Why?

3- What are the teaching practices AFL teachers employ when using songs in their classes? Do they align with teacher perceptions? Why?

4- What are the demographic features of AFL teachers who use songs for fostering AFL acquisition versus those who don't?

5-What are the challenges that AFL teachers face when using songs as a pedagogical tool?

4.2 Results addressing the first research question

1- How do AFL teachers perceive the usefulness of songs in fostering AFL acquisition?

Questions 13, 14, and 15 of the questionnaire provide answers to the first research question. A total of 66 AFL teachers responded to the questionnaire, of whom 41 (62.1%) “strongly agree”

that songs are useful to foster language acquisition in AFL classes, while 18 of them (27.3%) “agree,” and none of them strongly disagree; these results are represented below in Figure 1.

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songs as a pedagogical tool to enhance students’ acquisition of AFL, and validate the

researcher’s hypothesis that AFL teachers will strongly agree with the usefulness of using songs

in class. They also match the findings of Hamed’s study (2017) that 78% of teachers

participating in his study use songs as a source of authentic audio visual material. In fact, his study revealed that songs are one of the main sources of audiovisual material that his subjects use in class.

Figure 1: Answers of Q13

In Tegge’s (2015) study there were 204 participants out of 511 (39.9%) who “strongly agree” with the statement that “songs are a useful tool in the language classroom to foster language acquisition,” and 243 participants (47.6%) who “agree.” It is interesting to note that

though the levels of general agreement (strongly agree and agree) about using songs in both studies are very close (89% for the current study and 87.5% for Tegge’s), the percentage of “strongly agree” responses in this study is much higher than in Tegge’s. This indicates a higher

level of enthusiasm about using songs in AFL classes. It is worth noting that though some AFL Strongly agree 62% Agree 27% Neutral 6% Disagree 5% Strongly disagree 0%

What is your opinion on the following sentence? "Songs are a useful tool in Arabic as a foreign language (AFL) classroom to foster

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teachers did take part in Tegge’s study, when the study specifically addressed AFL teachers the

results were somewhat different.

In regards to Q14, which measures teacher perceptions regarding the appropriate proficiency level(s) for using songs, 74.2 % of participants “agree” or “strongly agree” that songs are useful

for elementary level, 87.8% for the intermediate level, 83.3% for the advanced level, and 72.7% for the superior level, as shown below in Table 1. The above results indicate that the highest level of agreement on using songs to foster language acquisition is found in relation to the advanced and intermediate levels; agreement with using songs in the elementary and superior levels is slightly less. It is worth noting that none of the teachers who participated in this

questionnaire contend or disagree with the usefulness of using songs in the advanced level while 7.6% doubt the benefit of using songs in the superior level. It is also worth noting here that the level of agreement regarding using songs in the advanced level (83.3%) is higher than that of superior level (72.8%). This was rather unexpected since the researcher hypothesized that the higher the level of proficiency, the higher the number of participants who agree on the usefulness of songs would be. The findings match the researcher’s hypothesis for both elementary and

intermediate levels, but did not match the hypothesis for advanced and superior levels. A possible explanation is that only 28.8% of participants teach the superior level, while 77.3% teach the advanced level. Therefore it’s possible that participants who don’t teach these levels don’t have a clear vision about the usefulness of songs for students in that level. This might have

resulted in the reduced level of agreement on song usefulness for the superior level compared to the intermediate level.

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What is your opinion on the following sentence when considering the different proficiency levels? “Songs are a useful tool in the AFL classroom to foster language acquisition.”

Table 1: Answers of Q14

Strongly Agree Agree Neutral Disagree

Strongly disagree Count % Count % Count % Count % Count %

[Elementary level] 32 48.5% 17 25.8% 10 15.2% 6 9.1% 1 1.5%

[Intermediate level] 30 45.5% 28 42.4% 5 7.6% 3 4.5% 0 0.0%

[Advanced level] 35 53.0% 20 30.3% 11 16.7% 0 0.0% 0 0.0%

[Superior level] 37 56.1% 11 16.7% 13 19.7% 4 6.1% 1 1.5%

In regards to the types of classes in which teachers perceived songs to be the most useful, Table 2 below shows a strong agreement with using songs to teach Colloquial Arabic. Results show that 65.2% of participants “strongly agree” that songs are useful for Colloquial Arabic

classes and a general agreement level of 93%. It is interesting to note that none of the

participants view songs as not useful for such classes. Listening and Speaking classes came in second place with 63.6% of participants “strongly agreeing” with the benefit of using songs, and

a level of general agreement that was lower than colloquial at 81%. Culture classes come in third place regarding the level of agreement with 62.1% “strongly agreeing” with the benefit of using

songs in teaching culture, as well as a general level of agreement that is slightly higher than Listening and Speaking at 84.8%. As for MSA and Conversation classes, though they didn’t score high on percentages of participants that “strongly agree” (36.4% for the former and 39.4% for the latter), they displayed the highest percentages in number of “agree” responses, 45% for

MSA classes and 33.3% for Conversation classes.The general level of agreement was 81.9% for MSA and 72.7% for Conversation classes. The lowest level of agreement was displayed in relation to using songs in Media classes. Overall the findings show that teachers perceive the use of songs as most beneficial in Colloquial, Culture, Listening and Speaking and MSA classes, a

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